Sport and Sustainability – A Special Report with UIPM, Commonwealth Games Federation and Angela Ruggiero

May 18, 2016

Sport is a valuable tool for both developing peace across nations and developing countries in terms of health, economics and education.

Sustainability is something which can come naturally from sport and is an important tool for sport to be used by those who run federations and sporting events.

Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation,  explains that to develop young people in less economically developed countries, the coaching needs to be in place.

She said:  “We work with all of the International bodies and then with the home nations – it’s a top down thing, but we want to make sure that young people at the bottom get the best treatment they can, whatever they want to achieve it must be done at the best level.”

“I’ve just come back from Zambia, they’ve got two facilities – one done on the Olympic solidarity money, it’s just been built and it was packed with youngsters all doing sport, older youngsters in charge of them.”

“Then we went on to the place where we held regional meetings and it was extraordinary, it’s got about 15 different sports in this facility.”

“To see young people there doing sport they want to do – the biggest complaint they have is that they don’t have enough top class coaches so we need to import coaches into that country to build up what they need to have really good athletes.”

So what are Olympic Federations doing to try and help the situation in regards to coaching?

Dr. h.c. Klaus Schormann is President of the Union International de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) states that they have a number of camps and seminars which are often used across the likes of Kenya, Afghanistan and Nepal.


Schormann explains how they are trying to develop the sport while also being able to use it as a means to create sustainability.

He said: “Africa is not easy, based on geographical area, political situations and wars, but we still have good resources there. Middle East is the same, and then in Asia we are developing well.”

“We need to make a good combination between your school and university, or wherever you are learning.”

“We try to have coaching seminars, trainer seminars, asset seminars; we bring these seminars to the national federations to help understand so that athletes do not leave for other sports in two years’ time for example.”

“Our theme is to educate through Modern Pentathlon. Physical education, mental education, respecting the environment of the horse, there are so many elements inside.

Martin, was keen to point out that it’s important for young people to be engaged in sport in order to produce a healthy next generation.


She continued: “If people do physical activity and sport they will become healthier but sport does help develop a human being.”

“Once you get into sport at a young age you’re hooked for life – it might not be the same sport but it’s a life changing experience.”

Sustainability is an issue that IOC members and current bidding nations are looking at very seriously with the IOC releasing Agenda 2020, looking into how the Olympic movement will develop in the future and strengthen the movement within society.

Angela Ruggiero, Chief Strategy Officer of the LA 2024 bid and current IOC member believes that sustainability is a key issue in regards to their Olympic bid.


She said: “The bid itself is aligned with agenda 2020 – it’s very sustainable, 97% of our venues are already in place, our slogan ‘follow the sun’, there’s a lot of exciting pieces of the bid that will fit in nicely with sustainability – trying to have an energy positive games.”

“I’ve served on a bidding process working group –I think it’s vital we need to align with Agenda 2020 and be good citizens of the Olympic Movement, our bid is completely supportive of those changes and we’re going to put our best foot forward but obviously in the best possible way.”

With Governing Bodies, Federations and current Olympic bids embracing sustainability, it seems to be regarded as an important tool in order to develop sport, infrastructure and health across the sporting world.